3

I'm working in a temp development contract as a front-end developer. During the interview process, I expressed my background as more full-stack to back-end than pure front-end. Despite my honesty upfront, they selected me to work with them for six months and to take on learning KnockOutJS. By week two, the development manager expected a one day crash course in KnockOutJS and two days to peruse their back-end code base, I should be par to develop major enhancement. She's been zero help with anything. When I asked her for assistance with back-end configuration (her realm) she said google it or find someone else to ask ( there is no one else. Her two back-end developers and one front-end dev left four weeks before I got hired on, though I was told I'd be working on a team, not a team of me.)

Fast forward a few weeks, she tells me there will be no team. Its all you. "At best I may be able to get you an hour or two a week with our former front-end dev, but he has a new job). When I've tried to reach out to him, he wants little to do with myself or this organization so I've learned everything solo. The work conditions with her are no better and I'm often dealing with her being directly condescending; I'm to the point of seriously thinking to put my two weeks in. Not sure I can stick out 16 more weeks of her condescending behavior and unreasonable expectations. My question is, whether with her or her boss, is there every a time to be tactfully blunt and speak your mind as to the miserable work condition she has created by her personality and lack of support as a dev manager?

9

Before you open your mouth, consider what the GOAL of doing so is going to be. Venting? Do that with a friend. Changing the organization and how things work? Dude, you're a consultant. You might want to save all the talking for the recruiters you need to get in touch with, because it's likely you'll be reaching out to them soon.

You're on a one-man team for a reason you can't change. Be effective where you can, and know where you cannot.

  • 4
    There is no winning scenario where you tell off this boss. None. You are a temp, no one is going to care what you say and you just make enemies and build a poor reputation. Grow up and learn to hold your temper and vent in private to friends. – HLGEM Sep 14 '16 at 22:01
5

My question is, whether with her or her boss, is there every a time to be tactfully blunt and speak your mind as to the miserable work condition she has created by her personality and lack of support as a dev manager?

No, because there is no way to tactfully complain about someone's personality.

What you can do tactfully, with a reasonable boss, is explain why you're having trouble doing the work:

[Boss], I'd like to talk to you about my work on [project]. When I interviewed for this position, I said that I was stronger in back-end development work than front-end and I was told I'd be working with a team. Since I've been here I've been assigned front-end work with unfamiliar libraries and I've been working alone. Because of this I've been having trouble accomplishing X, Y, Z.

I will not be able to finish [tasks] in my remaining time here without more support. If it really isn't possible to hire more help, can we have a conversation about what I can reasonably get done before my contract ends?

A reasonable person will acknowledge that you were not signing up to do the work of four people. They'll scale back and/or prioritize so that you're doing the most important work that you're capable of doing.

But it doesn't sound like your manager is a reasonable person. I have no clue whether her boss is or not, you haven't said anything about them, but a decision on what work and how much you're doing would have to be made by her anyway. That's not really something you can expect to be able to go over her head on. (Even if you could, you have to consider how bad it will get working with her if you did that.)

You might be able to say something about work conditions during an exit interview, if they ask you to do one, but you still shouldn't say anything about her personality. You'd want to say something like, "I wish I'd gotten more development support from management".

3

My question is, whether with her or her boss, is there every a time to be tactfully blunt and speak your mind as to the miserable work condition she has created by her personality and lack of support as a dev manager?

What are you hoping to gain from this? Unless you're very confident that her boss is actually receptive, not vindictive and would take steps to correct the issue, there is no way this could end positively for you.

There are however many ways in which this could be career limiting for you. You may get fired or disciplined. You may never get another raise again. You may get a bad reference or no reference.

As unfair as that sounds, its not worth it to rant against your managers.

0

It sounds to me as though there's a reason there's no team left for you to work with... I could guess that the previous employees were also tempted to speak their minds. The fact that your assigned contact doesn't wish to be in contact is rather telling.

I'd be tempted to try some subtle coffee-machine conversation with other people in the company and try to learn some background on your manager. You may gain some interesting insights.

You can either stick things out, if you feel you'll be able to complete successfully, or back out ASAP with the reason that you're not the right resource for this project.

  • In a brief talk with the former front-end developer, he expressed even when there's a team, the sheer workload and constant change requests flow in non stop. I overheard something similar from the infrastructure team. Entry level network budget, aged instructure but fortune 50 performance expectations. Additionally I was informed if I ever wished to be permanent with them, I'd have to go through eight more interviews and take a $15K pay cut potentially to be in line with their non-profit budget. – Alex Sep 15 '16 at 12:12
  • Yup, sounds as though the time vs resources ratio is entirely out of whack. If this was a charitable foundation, I could understand the lack of budget and drive to get the most value out of the least budget. I can well understand why there seems to be a high turnover of staff. – user44108 Sep 15 '16 at 12:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.